I must have been the youngest guy here.
Yet here I was, trying to learn as much as I could. I went to WistiaFest 2017 with the goal of kickstarting the success of my newly created video marketing agency.
Now what is WistiaFest?
WistiaFest is an annual conference for anyone who wants to use video to improve their business: entrepreneurs, agencies, in-house videographers, salespeople, marketers, and more.
The company that runs it, Wistia, built a video hosting platform geared towards business video.
Their goal with WistiaFest is to gather all of the world’s top videographers, entrepreneurs, agencies, and freelancers and get them to geek out about video.
Why did I decide to go?
I’ve always been intrigued with video ever since I made dumb video projects for high school chemistry (I may have copied the Annoying Orange). I left college after my 3rd year to put my all into something scary.
As Gary Vaynerchuk says, when you’re in your 20’s:
"This is the moment when you don’t go practical—don’t take the “safe” route."
And I knew that if I wanted to succeed in the world of marketing agencies, I had to know what others were doing in this space. I needed to see what was working for them, and not work in a silo.
I knew I needed an edge.
That’s when I found WistiaFest.
- Location: Boston, MA
- Date: June 11-13
- Size: approximately 300-500
Luckily I found the conference by way of the amazing content they produce on their site to help people make better videos.
Their high-quality tutorials and resources are what first got me to the Wistia site (through a Google Search) and when I noticed they were having all of these amazing speakers there, I knew I had to go.
I threw down an investment of $650. Seems scary when you’re bootstrapping a new business but here we go.
Was it worth it?
Here’s my experience.
Most of the keynotes were fantastic.
Some were a little slow for me, but that’s to be expected with any conference. People start at different points and it’s always good to go over the core principals.
The Breakout Sessions are where things got interesting.
Depending on what your goals were, there were four choices for each time slot: production, content & strategy, using Wistia, and agency.
And with so many cool breakout sessions to attend, I felt really bad that I couldn’t attend some.
But Wistia thought this through and actually recorded every session, and will be putting every session online exclusively for WistiaFest attendees to watch over again and again. That increased the value of this conference tenfold.
And I appreciated that.
My favorite speakers:
- Joanna Wiebe of Copy Hackers
- Ross Simonds of Hustle & Grind
- Adam Lisagor of Sandwich Video
The Social Events
It’s easy to write off as “not as important" but every good conference really needs solid social events.
They allow you to be free of the "business-y” vibe and just enjoy each other as human beings. These events are where you can find CEOs breaking it down to Bruno Mars.
Where your position means nothing on the dance floor.
These events are where the real fun is, and honestly, where I believe the most genuine relationships start at as well. The more informal the event the better.
WistiaFest started the first night with a mixer at their office with a huge tub of all-you-can-eat oysters and spiked lemonade to go round.
Then we had a 3-hour boat cruise party around the Boston Harbor.
We ended the conference with a night at Harpoon’s Brewery — drinking local drafts and stuffing our faces with appetizers as attendees stormed the dance floor.
Verdict: The Best a Videographer Can Get
After WistiaFest, I feel a springier step as I grow my agency.
If you’re a videographer, or just someone trying to get more out of your content marketing, you need to attend WistiaFest. Probably one of the funnest and most valuable conferences I’ve attended so far.
I would definitely recommend it to others.
Looking forward to next year!